The puritan mission of bringing civilization to the ignoble land is an attempt to derive morality by viewing oneself as not like the savage beast. Civilizing missions to the Middle East represent a return to the Puritan frontiersperson with a spiritual mission to save the world.
Clifford 01 [Michael, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Mississippi State University, Political Genealogy After Foucault: Savage Identities, p. 38-39]
In A Different Mirror, Ronald Takaki points out that Shakespeare’s Tempest was the first play performed in England, in 1611, that had the New World as its dramatic setting. This play also introduced to the English-speaking audience its first New World character: an Indian by the name of Caliban. Caliban, it turns out, is Shakespeare’s anagram of the word cannibal, which is itself derived from the word “Carib,” a term of Spanish origin used to refer to the natives of Central America and northern South America.5 The name Shakespeare chooses for his character is well calculated to tap into one of the deepest fears of his audience, namely, that of being eaten alive. The presumption of cannibalism was, in the European imagination, perhaps the definitive feature of American savagery. This presumption had been fostered by England’s earliest explorers of the New World, who referred to the natives they encountered as “Anthropophagi, or devourers of man’s flesh.”6 William Bradford would solidify this image in his graphic descriptions of the tortures performed by “the savage people” upon their enemies, the worst of which included “flaying some alive with the shells of fishes, cutting off the members and joints of others by piecemeal and broiling on the coals, eat the collops of their flesh in sight whilst they live.”7 Bradford’s “reports” fed fuel to the fire for the Puritans, who already looked upon the natives as devils of the wilderness, a threat to the moral and spiritual well-being of any “civilized” man. The possibility that they might actually be eaten by these savages represented the ultimate abomination.8 Of course, it was these same alleged cannibals who brought food to the starving Virginia colonists during that first terrible winter. The second winter was just as harsh, except that by now there were hundreds more colonial mouths to feed. The conditions were so bad this time that there were reports of people eating not only pets and vermin to survive, but bodies dug up from local graves. And, in an irony of dizzying proportions, John Smith would write in his journals, “So great was our famine that a savage we slew and buried” was dug up by some starving colonists and “boiled and stewed with roots and herbs.”9 Of course, Puritans like Cotton Mather could blame such behavior precisely on the association of the colonists with their heathen neighbors. “We have too far degenerated into Indian vices,” charged Mather. “We have [become] shamefully Indianized in all those abominable things.”10 The Puritans saw their journey to the New World as a kind of spiritual mission, an “errand in the wilderness,” an important goal of which was to bring the heathen natives to Christianity. To become “Indianized,” then, to acquire the very traits and imperfections of those you were trying to convert, represented a failure of that mission. But, more than that, it meant a breach of the individual’s covenant with God, a loss of spiritual substance, a slide into the dark abyss, the consumption of the soul by the wilderness itself. The American Indian represented the quintessential Other for the Puritan, a negative touchstone, an inverted mirror against which they could judge their own moral and spiritual worthiness, indeed through which they constructed and confirmed their own identity. Thousands of miles from their homeland, locked in struggle with a harsh yet indifferent wilderness, for the Puritans the measure of their humanity and civility came to be the degree to which they were not like the savages amongst whom they lived.
Link – Strategic Gaze
The 1AC’s frontier discourse is part of a strategic gaze that monopolizes knowledge over inner and outer space.
Kato in ’93
(Masahide, Professor of political science at the university of Hawaii, “Nuclear Globalism: Traversing Rockets, Satellites, and Nuclear War via the Strategic Gaze,” page 340-341, MDA)
In 1945, amidst the ruins of war, Theodor Adorno noted the decay of the notion of “strategy,” which the facist regime had raised to an “absolute” level. Moreover, optimistically and mistakenly, he hoped for the downfall of technology with the demise of strategy. In the same year, three hundred freight car loads of V-2 rocket components confiscated from Germany arrived at the White Sands Proving Ground eighteen miles west of Alamogordo, where the first nuclear bomb exploded on earth. Along with the procurement of rockets, the United States adopted one thousands German military scientists, many of whom later occupied one important positions in the military, NASA, and the aerospace industry. Originally, German Scientists put the rocket to practical use by revolutionizing access to an aerial view of the earth at the dawn of this century. Historically speaking, the development of perceptive technology, warfare technology, and strategy have always been closely intertwined. Thus, not surprising, the first experimental V-2 rocket launched from the White Sands Proving Ground in 1946 was loaded with a camera that successfully captured the curvature of Earth, that is, a partial image of the “globe.” It took twenty years (until 1966) from the experiment until the totality of the image of the globe became available to the First World community. The “long-shot” of the globe rising from the lunar horizon taken from the Lunar Orbiter I manifested the totality of the globe eloquently to First World eyes. The Most commonly circulated image of the globe, however, was shot by the crew of Apollow 8 in 1968. This attainment of a photographic image of the globe marked the triumph of an “absolute” strategic Gaze. Historical contestations over the privileged position of the gaze and hence over the perspective with higher strategic significance ended with the emergence of the absolute strategic gaze. The newly emerged regime of the absolute strategic gaze rendered obsolete the very notion of perspective and hence dimension. Thus, Adorno’s thesis was proved to be wrong: the downfall of fascist state(s) merely marked the turning point when strategy shifted its gear and dispersed beyond conventional (e.g., national) boundaries with the help of the absolute strategic gaze.